The Georgia Bikes Blog

Congress: Support Safe Streets!

Dear Members of Congress from Georgia,
 
We strongly support three changes to the House's current transportation bill. Please ask your colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to vote "YES" on the following amendments:
 
1) Safe Streets amendment, introduced by Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Dina Titus (D-NV). This will require GDOT and metropolitan planning organizations to plan and design for the safety needs of all users—regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation—in all federally-funded projects. Luckily, GDOT already has a nationally recognized policy on this issue, so this is an easy win for the people of Georgia. Most MPOs in Georgia follow these principles as well, but federal guidelines would make for more consistent and efficient implementation across the state.
 
2) The amendment from Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Dina Titus (D-NV) which would direct a larger portion of transportation funds to Georgia's towns and cities and improve the transparency in how local projects are funded. If passed, the Davis-Titus amendment would significantly increase transportation funding at the local level, where decision making should be. Americus, Rome, Carrollton, Athens, Macon, Columbus, Valdosta and Savannah...all of these cities are eager to create safe, family-friendly streets and paved trails that boost economic development and allow people to make healthy choices. Georgia's cities need predictable, locally controlled funds to implement their visions and improve the lives of their citizens.
 
3) The amendment to expand federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) financing eligibility to transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. Nationally, demand for living near transit is projected to double over the next 20 years to over 15 million households and to meet this demand, significant new development near transit stations will be needed. This kind of amendment would make TOD projects in Georgia's larger cities easier by making them eligible for TIFIA financing.
 
Together these amendments will make Georgia's transportation system safer, smarter, and better served for all modes — all things we will need to stay competitive in a 21st century global economy. We support a transportation system designed to meet tomorrow's needs — not yesterday's.
 
Please encourage your colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to vote "YES" on these three amendments.
 
 

Special offer for Summit attendees

As part of the First Friday event happening the night before the Georgia Bike Summit in downtown Milledgeville, the Local Yolkal Cafe is hosting a special low country boil dinner. Summit attendees are getting first crack at making a reservation for this limited seating event!

To make reservations, call the restaurant @ 478-295-0098 between the hours of 9am-3pm. You can also message Local Yolkal on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheLocalYolkalCafe or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The menu is All You Can Eat Low Country Boil....shrimp, red potatoes, onion, sausage & corn on the cob. The price is $24.95 per person.

Beer & Wine will be available for purchase...beer 2.50 per bottle, wine 3.50 per glass

Buckets of steamed oysters @ $12.00 per bucket are also available....each bucket has between 12-15 oysters in it depending on size. At the time reservations are made customers will need to inform the restaurant if they wish to purchase buckets of oysters and how many.

2015 National Bike Challenge stats

The 2015 National Bike Challenge wrapped up yesterday, and the stats are in!

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Challenge. We hope to see you all return next year with a few friends!

Below is a summary of the the top teams, communities and individual riders from the entire Challenge period (May 1 - September 30):

 

Top Female Riders from GA

 
1) Betty Jean Jordan of Monticello with 7,991 points!
2) Dena Pruitt of Winder with 5,676 points
3) Diane Kinyon of Kingsland with 5,616 points
 

Top Male Riders from GA

 
1) Jason Wagner of Suwanee with 14,869 points!
2) James Deitsch of Albany with 12,536 points
3) Michael Chiasson of Woodbine with 9,968 points
 

Top Communities in GA

 
1) Atlanta with 396 riders who accumulated over 123,400 points!
2) Savannah with 136 riders who accumulated over 94,300 points
3) Decatur with 93 riders who accumulated over 63,500 points
 

Top Teams in GA

 
1) Camden County Cycling Club with 107,905 points!
2) Bicycling Club of Milledgeville with 105,062 points
3) Pecan City Pedalers of Albany with 80,820 points
 
Among the southern states, Georgia came in at 10th place with 116.72 points per 1,000 residents. Nationally, Georgia ranked 43rd.
 

Progress continues on Coastal GA Greenway Study Committee

Via Savannah Morning News, coverage of the promising first meeting of the Coastal Georgia Greenway Study Committee:

Parties interested in creating a trail for hikers, bikers and others to use through Coastal Georgia from South Carolina to Florida gathered at the Richmond Hill City Center Sept. 21. The project being discussed, the Coastal Georgia Greenway, would be part of a longer proposed trail, the East Coast Greenway, extending from Calais, Me. to Key West, Fla.

The event was a meeting of a committee established by the state legislature to study issues regarding creating the greenway that included Ga. Sen. William T. Ligon, Reps. Al Williams, Bill Hitchens, Ben Watson and Ron Stephens, along with representatives from the GDOT, DNR and other agencies.

The greenway would be a 155-mile-long multi-use trail that would wind its way through all six of Coastal Georgia’s counties. 

Rick Gardener, Chairman of the Coastal Greenway Council and Bryan County Commissioner, explained that the Greenway would create an alternative transportation infrastructure that would link almost 116,000 acres of historic districts, parks, schools and museums while providing a health benefits to area citizens.

Gardner urges anyone interested in seeing the Coastal Georgia Greenway become a reality to contact their legislators.

Very exciting to hear about this progress on making the CGG finally happen! To express your support for fast-tracking implementation of this coastal bike trail, contact your state lawmaker.

Road Diets: A Rx for safer streets and neighborhoods

In the current issue of Innovator Magazine, the US Federal Highway Administration recommends putting roadways on a "diet" to "increase safety and mobility."

A "road diet" is a simple, cost-effective technique for communities who want to improve quality of life and make their streets safer for all ages and users. To implement a road diet, traffic engineers re-stripe a roadway - without widening it - to reduce the number of travel lanes. A common road diet conversion involves turning a 4-lane street into a 3-lane street. The reconfiguration results in a safer, more complete street that accommodates all users: pedestrians, people on bikes, wheelchair users, children, and people in motor vehicles.

The bonus is that road diets can be implemented during already scheduled re-paving projects, meaning the cost of the project is minimal to the community. No expensive - or disruptive - road widening, and little to no additional cost to the community.

Aside from creating space for non-motorized road users, road diets vastly improve the safety of the roadway for motor vehicle users. Crashes are reduced by significant margins, and the crashes that do occur are less severe.

Check with your local transportation and public works department to see if a "road diet" can work in your community. All you have to lose is a dangerous street!

 

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